Monday, May 16, 2005
Why An Apology Is Not Enough
The White House said on Monday that a Newsweek report based on an anonymous source had damaged the U.S. image overseas by alleging that U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at Guantanamo Bay.
The report sparked violent protests across the Muslim world -- from Afghanistan, where 16 were killed and more than 100 injured, to Pakistan, Indonesia and Gaza. In the past week the reported desecration was condemned in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and by the Arab League.
McClellan complained that the story was "based on a single anonymous source who could not personally substantiate the allegation that was made."
"The report has had serious consequences," he said. "People have lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged."
Newsweek has apologized, but I don't think that will be enough. In fact, it was more of a non-apology apology as Mark points out. As damagaing as the photos from Abu Ghraib were I think this will turn out to be far worse. In their zeal to make the Bush administration and the military look bad Newsweek ran a story that wasn't true, and it got people killed.